Townville prepare to take on Bradford League’s big boys

Townville's Nick Bresnan.
Townville's Nick Bresnan.

Local cricket gets under way this weekend with the first league and cup ties of the 2017 season taking place.

Several clubs are stepping into the unknown a little following promotions and relegations last season and will be hoping to have got their preparations right.

For Townville the challenge is clear – to quickly become competitive in their first season in with the big boys in the Premier Division.

After an outstanding promotion winning season in 2016 hopes are high for Nick Bresnan and his team with the likes of Jack Hughes, Conor Harvey and Jonny Booth looking to build on the impressive campaigns they had last year.

Several additions to the squad have been made, including batsman Brayden Clark, left armer Luke Jacques and the re-signed Richie Bresnan. But Alex Page will miss start of the season with a broken foot and Matt Bremner will not be returning to play for the club this year.

Townville will quickly find out if they have what it takes to compete in the Premier as they have been thrown into the fire somewhat with an opening day fixture away to Hanging Heaton, who looked to have recruited well in the winter as they bid to go one better than last year when they were pipped to the title by Pudsey St Lawrence.

This year’s Bradford League champions will go on to play a semi-final at Scarborough, with the goal a Yorkshire Champions final at Headingley.

Methley will be hoping to follow local rivals Townville out of Championship One as they look to put together a promotion campaign in 2017.

They will be captained by Luke Bullingham and have recruited Dan Shuffe from Premier Division East Bierley. They are at home to Ossett in their first match of what looks like being a competitive season with long standing rivals Wrenthorpe in there along with Morley and Scholes who have come down from the Premier.

Great Preston find themselves in the Conference and after an encouraging season in 2016 they will be looking to mount a promotion campaign under skipper Ian Newton.

They face an interesting opening match at the Neil’s Carpets Oval when hosting league newcomers Sandal, who were last year’s Pontefract League champions.

First round matches in the Heavy Woollen Cup take place on Sunday with Great Preston at Wrenthorpe, Methley at home to Barkisland and Townville away to Cawthorne.

The Pontefract, Wetherby and York Senior Leagues all begin on Saturday.

Focus locally will be on Ledsham in their first season in the Wetherby League’s top division while Kippax are up to Division Two.

Castleford, meanwhile, will be aiming for an improvement after relegation has seen them drop down to the Premier Division of the York Senior League.